independence

Those wings are VALKYRIA

The wind that shakes the horizon
Is the blaze burning?
Shivering, I stand at the entrance to the world
Until my feelings are delivered, I can't die

Ranka’s departure from Frontier was not an easy decision for her to make—it as something she clearly weighed heavily on. It clearly showed she had truly become independent and needed to and/or had started to learn that she couldn’t keep relying on other people whenever trouble started brewing. When Ranka decided to leave with Brera, it was not because the person she relied on switched, but because she was finally searching for her own answers.

Throughout the series, Ranka is seen as a dynamic duo to Sheryl Nome—a complete 180 to her idol. Unlike Sheryl, Ranka is shy, lacks self confidence, and doubts herself constantly. Though she does evolve plenty throughout the series, her personality remains at its core, quite different from Sheryl. She is the shyer, more naive, and dependent character. And while there is nothing wrong being dependent to a point, there does come a point where she becomes independent, in her own right.

Navigating through her own actions, and thoughts, and encouraged by Brera, Ranka starts to feel used in her job as Macross’ Songstress of Hope. She feels as though her music—her song—is being used in ways that she does not want nor like. At first she’s complacent in her role because Alto has voiced to her that she’s helpful, and that’s what she wants! She wants to be helpful, she wants to aide Alto is his battles, she wants to use her music to help people, but eventually she starts to question things. She starts to ponder everything, and starts to wonder if her precious song is just being used a weapon. She never wanted to be a weapon.

Upon realizing her pet Ai-kun is a Vajra, she is, of course, at first, very scared. But then Ranka comes to realize her friend will not hurt her—she starts to come to terms with the fact that perhaps the Vajra aren’t as bad as the government makes them out to be, that maybe some of them are peaceful creatures. Determined to try to find her friends family, Ranka hopes to enlist Alto in her quest to journey off Frontier and leave her job as ‘Songstress of Hope’, but unfortunately, Alto didn’t like those plans.

He draws his weapon against this creature and tells Ranka in more kind words, that she is essentially crazy for thinking the Vajra will not hurt her. Devastated, Ranka leaves Frontier without Alto, but not before confessing her feelings of love for him. This way, in a way, her own way of leaving Alto behind and becoming independent on her own. She told him her feelings knowing she might never see him again. She told him everything not caring about what he thought, because she was leaving him behind. She wouldn’t be relying him when she’s in trouble anymore.

Even though Alto did save her from herself in the end, it is Ranka’s comment to Sheryl that she would “fight for Alto” that really shows how much Ranka has grown. While she was saved by Alto, it is Ranka and her newfound evolution of herself that brought Sheryl to her senses and helped Alto save the universe from Grace O’Connor. Ranka may be dependent on people to a certain point, but she has her own sense of independence and has her own thoughts and feelings.